Illuminating Life's Complexity Through Ambiguous Imagery

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Manchester | An Elephant Sitting Still (2018)

August 1 @ 6:20 pm - 10:30 pm

A remarkable debut that sadly serves as its creator’s epitaph, An Elephant Sitting Still (2018) offers an uncompromisingly grim yet poignant portrait of life in modern China. Shortly after completing this work, The director Hu Bo, at the age of 29, took his own life.

“He told me the other day. There is an elephant in Manzhouli. It sits there all day long. Perhaps some people keep stabbing it with forks. Or maybe it just enjoys sitting there. I don’t know”.

Located in the northernmost corner of China, Manzhouli shares a 54-kilometer border with Russia. A mythical elephant resides in this city, sitting still and remaining indifferent to the world’s cruelties. The film unfolds over a single 24-hour period, employing a multi-threaded narrative to capture the characters’ lives filled with incidents such as sexual affairs, violent conflicts, and tragic deaths. Despite the bleak events, the characters coincidentally place their fragile hopes in the distant legend of the elephant sitting still in Manzhouli. The overall tone of the film, however, is not pessimistic. It emphasizes stoic resilience, inner strength, and faces grappling with moral dilemmas.

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Ambiguity Film
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50 Red Bank, Cheetham Hill
Manchester, M4 4HF United Kingdom
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